Tags: US | Fort | Hood | Suicides

Fort Hood Assessing Soldiers in Wake of Suicides

Thursday, 30 Sep 2010 11:01 AM


  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) — Thousands of soldiers stationed at Fort Hood are receiving extra visits from their superiors this week following a recent spate of suspected suicides, according to the Texas Army post's senior commander.

Fourteen suicides among soldiers stationed at Fort Hood have been confirmed so far this year. Six more are suspected, including four in the past week, according to figures released by the Army Suicide Prevention Task Force. The Army reported 11 suicides of Fort Hood soldiers in 2009, down from the previous record high of 14 in 2008.

The task force did not return calls Wednesday seeking the number of suicides reported at other Army bases so far this year.

Maj. Gen. William Grimsley said Fort Hood soldiers from the rank of sergeant and below — more than 32,000 soldiers — would be visited in their barracks or off-post homes this week to get "a better sense" of how they are doing. Their superiors also will make sure weapons privately owned by soldiers are properly registered, Grimsley said.

He said he does not know what may have caused the rash of apparent suicides, but that soldiers who take their own lives often are struggling with financial or relationship problems and multiple deployments. Grimsley said Fort Hood leaders also plan to offer more training on how to recognize and help at-risk troops.

"I think the overarching theme is that we as a force are busy doing what we need to be doing on behalf of the nation, and for the first time in our history, we're doing it for the most extended period in our history and with an all-volunteer force," Grimsley said.

The commander sees no correlation between the suicides and the shooting rampage last year that killed 13 and injured dozens more on the sprawling Army post, where 46,500 troops are now stationed. Maj. Nidal Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, has been charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in the Nov. 5 attack.

"People on the afternoon of the 5th felt their sanctuary was violated ... but the immediate aftermath of that ... is that Fort Hood is incredibly resilient and bounced back immediately," Grimsley said.

In 2009, the Army's 160 reported suicides among active-duty troops was an all-time high, up from 140 in 2008, and the Army has been trying to address the problem.

Fort Hood last year opened its Resiliency Campus, the Army's first multifaceted facility designed to help soldiers and their families prepare better for the stress and uncertainty of being deployed — often for the second or third time.

Before it opened, Fort Hood officials said the facility was not created specifically to combat the Army's rise in suicides. But they said they hoped its various programs would give soldiers and their families many tools to prevent problems that have led to suicides.

Sgt. Cassandra St. Amand, who attended a suicide prevention training seminar at Fort Hood on Wednesday, said she learned ways of recognizing when a "battle buddy" may be considering suicide.

"A lot of soldiers want you to ask them, so you just need to ask," St. Amand said.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Retype Email:
Zip Code:
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Joe Scarborough Denies Lobbying Hard for 'Meet the Press' Job

Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 23:07 PM

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough denied reports Thursday that he and his Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski have been "aggress . . .

Laura Ingraham: Rand Paul Closest to Americans on Foreign Policy

Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 21:43 PM

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, accused of being an isolationist by some fellow Republicans, is actually more in step with the  . . .

Legal Analyst Coffey: Ariz. Execution Won't Affect Death Penalty

Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 20:22 PM

Don't expect Arizona's controversial execution of Joseph Rudolph Wood to put a damper on the death penalty, veteran lega . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved